How have you been treating yourself today? How about the last week? The last few weeks?
Where has your focus and energy been directed?
How are you feeling? How is your body feeling? Your heart? Your mind? Your soul?
What might it look like if you treated yourself like a child you loved? Or, if you allowed yourself to behave a bit more like a child?
Would you be more kind and loving toward yourself? Might you take better care of yourself?
Perhaps you would allow yourself to get more sleep? Perhaps take naps? Get to bed earlier? We know that children need a lot of sleep to grow and develop well. While we may not need as much sleep as children, we know our bodies and minds need rest and recovery to function well. And yet most of us are getting much less than we truly need.
Perhaps you would eat better? More nutritious and more regular meals? Like with sleep and rest, we know that children need nutritious and regular meals for good health. While our dietary necessities may look different than that of a child, the nutritional building blocks are primarily the same. You need those nutritious meals, as well.
Perhaps you would allow more time for affection and love from those around you that you trust? Hugs and cuddles are something that many children love and they always have time for them. It helps them know they are loved and cared for and safe. It does the same for us as adults. Many of us don’t take the time to allow and ask for the love and affection we want and need.
Perhaps you would allow for more time to let your imagination wander? Children have amazing imaginations. They create entire worlds and stories and using their imaginations is an important part of their creative and mental development. It is for us as adults, as well. Letting our imaginations wander can help us with creative problem-solving, among many other things.
Perhaps you could bring in more play time? Play is another integral building block for children’s growth. Play as adults can take just as many forms as it does for children, but many of us have lost sight of how much it can help us. We can use it to de-stress, get back into our bodies, allow our minds to settle, and much more.
There are many other ways that children can be great teachers for us about what is and is not important. Many children, especially young children, don’t spend much time in front of a mirror concerned about how they look. They don’t worry that their hair and makeup and clothes aren’t perfect. They don’t spend hours on social media, checking in on everyone else’s life and comparing what they do or do not have or seeing how many likes and followers they have.
Adults establish boundaries for children, and as the children grow older, parents and children establish boundaries together so the children can grow into healthy, well-adjusted adults. Might we be able to take some of those boundaries we build in our children’s lives and bring them into our own?
I’m not saying you should forgo your adult responsibilities, but might there be a way to act a bit more child-like that is in alignment with what you most want for yourself?
Ask yourself: How would I treat a child that I love? Is there something within that answer that you can bring into your own life? Even one small adjustment can make a big change over time.